Forming and cutting of plums.
In commercial plum orchards you can lead out 3 forms of crowns; almost natural, a free and oval line, set on a meter-high trunk, which allows the plums to be shaken off mechanically. The formation of almost natural or free lane crowns is similar to the cultivation of apple and pear trees.
Lynx. Natural plum crown.
Almost natural crowns are easy to obtain by lightly pruning and bending some shoots. The formation of free line crowns requires three times as much work, because almost all shoots on a young tree have to be bent and tied with strings to pins. The lane form makes it possible to reduce the distance between the rows to 4.0-4.5 m, planting more trees per hectare and increasing the fruit yield per hectare. Access to trees is easier, which increases the efficiency of cutting and picking fruit.
Keeping plums in an almost natural form
Young plum trees generally grow vigorously and tend to form a conductor which facilitates crown formation. The buds planted in an orchard tend to be both profusely branched and without any ramifications. We prune the first of them from the bottom, to a height of about half a meter, leaving 3-5 shoots above with wide bifurcation angles, from which the boughs will be formed. These shoots need to be shortened by 1/3 or 2/3, so that after cutting they have approx 40 cm. Cut the guide to approx 50 cm above the last branch. Unbranched specimens should be shortened at a height of 70-80 cm from the ground and wait until the next year for the formation of the crown (Lynx.).
Lynx. Pruning of prune buds in the first year after planting in the orchard: a - branched oculant; b - unbranched.
As with the formation of apple and pear trees, it is very advisable to put the clamps on the guide in May or June in order to correct the angles of the bifurcations. Sharp bifurcation angles occur in many varieties of plums from the Węgierek group.
In the second and third years after the orchard was planted, we try to produce a guide and the number of branches embedded in it 7 do 10. Branches should form wide angles of bifurcations. If the branches on a young tree form acute angles, then they have to be widened by bending the shoots and tying them to the trunk with strings (Lynx.).
Lynx.. In the second year after planting the plums, the most important shaping procedure is bending the shoots.
Lynx. Lighten the several-year-old plum trees by removing a few twigs from the center of the crown.
In plum trees, not all shoots will be bent, because some are thick and stiff (these are cut smoothly next to the guide).
When forming the crowns of the greenhouse plum trees, special attention should be paid to the growth of the guide in the first two years after planting the trees. In these varieties, the guide rises sometimes in height 1,5 m and then it must be shortened by 2/3 so that branches are formed on it. If the guide is not shortened, the crowns are too loose, and at the same time high.
After the formation of fruiting plum trees is finished, moderately prune the branches crossing the light, lying on top of each other, sick or dead. Older trees, that is, aged for years 10 do 20 sometimes require a stronger cut. First of all, it becomes necessary to regulate the height of the trees during this time. The height of the trees should not exceed 3 m measured from the ground. Taller trees need to shorten the tops and it is better to do this circle early 10 year of life of trees, to avoid a very hard cut later, which creates the risk of developing bark and wood diseases (Lynx.).
Lynx. Shortening the top of a plum tree too lofty.
Plum varieties prone to abundant and alternating fruiting (for example, the Hungarian Wangenheim) require a fairly detailed cut at this time, which improves the regularity of fruiting and the quality of the fruit. For these varieties it is recommended to thin out small fruiting branches, especially thin shoots, filamentous, on which the fruit is the tiniest (Lynx.).
Lynx. Every year we cut a lot of small shoots on the trees of the Hungarian Wangenheim variety.